Bodleian Library, MS. Laud Misc. 733

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checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Bodl. MS Laud Misc. 733 [SC 1129]
  • Matheson no.: 151
  • Date(s): mid-C15, poss. 3rd quarter C15
  • Type of book: Brut Chronicle.
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 2
  • Contents: Treatise on arms, fols. 1r-17v; Brut chronicle, fols. 18r-168v.
  • Writing support: (mixed media mss: particular usage of parchment?)
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation: tentative, from film:
    • No of leaves: iii + 181 + i ( prob. pastedown).
    • Blank leaves: 26br-26c verso; 45br-45c verso; 169r- back pastedown.
    • Quires:  i-ii8, iii10; iv4; v16; vi6; vii-8; xii2 (poss. 8 wants 6); xiii-xiv8; xv4; xvi-xxii8; after fol. 165 the situation is unclear, but poss. as follows: xxiii7 (prob. 8 wants 1); xxiv8 (last fol. is pastedown).
    • Foliation: C18 foliation top right corner, misses blank leaves, foliation for these supplied in C20? Foliation skips from 172 to 179; either 7 leaves are missing, foliation is wrong, or these leaves were not filmed.
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 8v, 25v, 27v, 43v, 47v, 55v, 63v, 71v, 79v, 87v, 89v, 97v, 105v, 109v, 117v, 125v, 133v, 141v, 149v, 157v, 165v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): quire i signed a 3 on fol. 3r; quire ii signed on leading edges i-iiij; no other sigs. visible on film.
    • Damage?:
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames and lines poss. in crayon or ink.
b. columns: 1
c. lines: 40

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page:
    • Writing space:
  • Binding:

    • Decoration?: ¾ fol. miniatures on fols. 1r ('Garter King of Arms pointing with a verge to a coat of arms, with a nobleman [=?patron] and a young page beside; all three looking upowards at an angel bearing a shield with the same arms', Scott, II, 271), 18r (Diocletian and his daughters), 22v (Brut victorious over Gossar), 70v (Battle of Hastings); miniature figures on fols. 5v (lion), 6r (lionpard), 6v (pard, hart), 7r (boar), 7v (dog, dragon, horse, bear), 8r (eagle), 8v (falcon, owl, dove), 9r (crow, swan), 10r (cock, gryphon, merlin, luce), 10v (crab); miniatures of figures holding shields with arms on fols. 29r (Constantine), 30v (Ursula, Gowan), 31r (St. Albon), 36r (Engist), 42r (Arthur), 52v (St. Oswolde), 57r (St. Edmonde), 61r (St. Edward the Martyr), 66v (St. Edward); miniatures depicting the various heraldic arms on fols. 10v-17r.
    • Artist?: 2 main illustrators according to Kathleen Scott; illustrator A (who completes the minature on fol. 1, the heraldic beasts in item 1, and overpaints details on two of ill. B's pictures [fols 22v and 70v]), is possibly the continental artist known as the Caesar Master, who was vastly influential in changing English styles of border decoration in the mid-C15. Scott locates/dates this piece of work in London c.1450. (See Scott, II, 272, 278) Scott describes A as 'the controlling artist' in the production of Laud Misc. 733, however, B's style is absolutely English, and it is possible that A's several interventions on B's pictures may have occured after the section of the manuscript containing the Brut had already been completed. Scott argues against the identification of B as the Master of National Library of Scotland, MS. Adv, 18.1.7, and of Rylands MS. Eng. 1, although concurs that there is a stylistic correspondence between the three sets of illustrations; Scott instead advocates B as illustrator D of BL Royal MS. A. XVIII, and of a single historiated initial in psalter made for Syon, now in the collection of Lord Gage, Firle Place.
    • An alternative account of the manuscript's decorative features is put forward by Kren and McKendrick, who argue that the minatures are the work of the so-called Master of Edward IV and his assistants. (See Kren and McKendrick, 304-5).

    • No. of Scribes: 1
    • Named scribes?: no
    • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 Secretary: single-compartment ‘a’, secretary ‘g’, ‘w’, ‘v’; uses both single-ascender and looped-ascender ‘d’ (e.g. fol. 26a verso).
    • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
    • Compiler?:
    • Rubrication, sigla: item 1, fols. 1r, 22v, : border on inner, top and outer margins, with floral sprays, in colours; ¾ fol. painted miniature; 5-line cap infilled with painted human figure (prob. representing the author); rest of item: 1 and 2-line caps with pen flourishes into margin, prob. in red and blue; chapter headings, prob. in red, sometimes with spiral line markers; paraphs in text, rubricated in penwork boxes, prob. in red or blue; side notes; titles for beast miniatures in scrollwork; full-page explicit with highly elaborate cap (approx 20-line) decorated with knotwork and geometric designs, rest of text with caps (approx 7-line) in strapwork; item 2: fol. 18r: bar border on inner margin, and border on inner, top and bottom margins, extending into top and bottom of outer margin, with floral sprays in colours; ¾ fol. miniature; 6, 5, or 4-line solid cap (prob. in gold) on floral background in colours; rest of item: 1 and 2-line caps with pen flourishes into margin, prob. in red and blue; running titles, prob. in red, with paraphs rubricated in penwork boxes and flourished at corners, prob. in red and blue; chapter headings and numbers, prob. in red, sometimes with spiral line markers, poss. in blue; paraphs in text, rubricated in penwork boxes, prob. in red or blue; side notes, prob. in red; titles for figure miniatures in scrollwork;
    • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
      • Front pastedown: pressmarks; ‘john’ C15; ‘jhes’, C15; ‘A jhu’, monogram: ‘A W T’?, C15-16?; ‘W Waad’, C17; ‘Elizabett dawbne’, C15;  religious verse: ‘in my bed liyng on cristes day half slepyng’, C15.
      • Front flyleaf (ir): scribbles; pressmark; ‘George lord Bergavenny’, C16?; ‘hoyn [hys?] souyle jhu hayf marsye’, C16; ‘Thomas Johns’, C15-16; ‘Armigill Waad’, C16; ‘Anth[?] hony Galbus’, C16; ‘A E waad’ (twice), C16; ‘W Waad’, C17; ‘Henricvs Ferrers’, C17 ; ‘Nicolas Roscarrock’, C17
      • Front flyleaf (iii verso): ‘1606 Sr William Waad knight lieutenant of the tower to our souerain Lord king Jaymes’; ‘is that which Caxton followed This chronicle seems to be Caxton’s and is in print’, C18?
      • 1r: pressmark; ‘Liber guilielmi Laud Archiepiscopi Cantuariensis et Cancellarii Vniuersitatis Oxon 1633 ./’; ‘1606 W Waad lieutenant of the tower to our souerain Lord King Jaymes oweth this book’.
      • 17v: ‘1586 W Waad Clerke of the priuye cownsell to our souerain ladye Elizabethe owethe this booke’.
      • 88v: ‘desunt aliquot folia’, C19?
      • 168v; ‘W Waad’, C17.
      • 169r: list of regnal terms from Henry VI to Elizabeth I, C16 (prob. temp. Elizabeth).
      • 172v: pen drawing of a pentangle.
      • 180v: pen drawing derived from miniature of St. Ursula on fol. 30v (or from LP 84 fol. 2v).
      • 181v: ‘Henry Ferrers’, C17; ‘W Waad’, C17; librarian’s note, modern.
      • Back pastedown: ‘Jho [Mary?]’, C15?; ‘Roger Thomas johnes’, C15-16; ‘Sharp R’ (S harper?), C15-16; ‘thomas’, ‘roger’, C15-16; ‘johnes meray’, C15; ‘Elyzabeth leuenthorpe’, C15, (comp. ‘Elizabett dawbne’ on front and back pastedown, Elizabeth Nevyll on back pastedown); geometric pattern with the letters ‘s’, ‘y’, ‘l’, ‘o’, ‘r’, ‘d’, ‘o’, ‘a’, in voids; erased marginalia; ‘George lord Bergevenny’, C15-16; ‘George Nevyll knyZthe [in box: of(f iij?)]’, C15; ‘Elsabet Jhes’, C15; ‘Elysabet Nevyll’, C15; ‘jane Bergevenny’, C15-16; ‘Elyzabet Nevy[…]’, C15; geometric pattern (see above) with letter ‘o’ in every void; ‘jane Call ys a [cokneyue?] and ffaythe lond shall [bayre?] john a moyre boke boke she well be’, C15-16; ‘Elizabett dabne’ (five times with various spellings e.g. ‘Elyzabeth’ and ‘daubney);james mauray […]’, C15-16.
    • Glosses and underlining:
      •  C16 glosses in Latin and English on fols. 43v, 67r-v, 71v, 74r, 75r-v, 77r, 78r, 80v, 82v, 85r, 88v, 93v, 99v, 122r, 134r, 144r, 145v, 147v, 154v,  160v.
      • C17-18 glosses on fols. 99r, 106r-v, 148v, (160r different hand), 163r-v.
    • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage: Uncertain; no match for the arms on fol. 1 has been identified; it seems likely that within a few decades of its production that the manuscript was in the possession of the Neville family.
    • Later ownership(s): Waad family, C16-17; William Laud, C17.
    • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
    • Language(s); translation activities: some C16 glosses in Latin
    • Dialect:
    • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
    • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

    Intertextual relations:

    • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Peculiar Version’, group PV-1419[r&g]:A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 266-67.
    • Evidence of exemplar: change of exemplar at chap. xii (Lear).
    • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
    • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: the treatise on arms is also found in BL Add. MS 34648, fols. 3v-8v, and BL MS Harley 6097, fols. 1-10, 12-49v. All three texts printed by Jones, 1943 (see bibliography).
    • Decoration: The miniatures of Ursula, Gowan (fol. 30v) and Hengist (fol. 36v) have been copied by pen into LP MS 84, with some alterations, and Ursula and Gowan re-contextualised as Albina and poss. Cassibalan; all three retain their shields, but only Hengist has any arms on his. The drawing based on Ursula on fol. 180v of Laud Misc. 733 more resembles the LP 84 drawing of Albina than Ursula, since in LP 84 and Laud Misc. fol. 180v she has been given long hair, and in Laud Misc. 733 fol. 30v, her hair is worn up.
    • Translation, language:

    Credits and acknowledgments:

    The description of this MS is from microfilm work by J O’R supplemented by SC. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB. Revisions and additions by Ryan Perry

    Select Bibliography for this MS:



    BL MS Add. 34648
    BL MS Harley 6097
    LP MS 84

    Bodl. MS e Musaeo 39


    Evan John Jones, ed., Medieval Heraldry: some Fourteenth-Century Heraldic Works (Cardiff: Lewis, 1943), esp. pp. 213-20.

    Secondary Texts:

    Kren, Thomas and Scott McKendrick, Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe. London, Royal Academy of Arts, 2003. No. 84, 304-05.

    Scott, Kathleen, Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490. II vols. London: Harvey Miller, 1996. I: 29, 38, 40, 42, 43, 49, 60, 63, 73 n. 37, 78 n.1; II: 96, 130, 131, 224, 247, 257, 261, 274, 319; plates 373, 374.

    Woolf, D. R., Reading History in Early Modern England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 50-51, n. 118.


    The pen drawings in LP 84 are obviously taken from this ms, or a common exemplar, although the latter suggestion seems unlikely, considering the scarcity of illustrated Brut mss. However, the two mss may have been more closely linked than such a borrowing might initially suggest, since the later pen drawing on fol. 180v of Laud Misc. 733 resembles that of LP 84 fol. 2v rather than that of St. Ursula on fol. 30v. It is possible that the drawing on fol. 180v is a practice, or preliminary sketch, but it is nowhere near the quality of the LP 84 drawing. One suggestion is that the two mss may have belonged to the same milieu; another is that the scribe of LP 84 consulted Laud Misc. 733 as part of his research into his much expanded text, and that he ‘borrowed’ the miniatures at the same time. However, such detailed copying seems to indicate that the mss were side by side for a period, and we cannot be sure that the LP 84 scribe was the artist who copied the drawings from Laud Misc. 733.

    George, Lord Abergavenny,  is prob. George Neville, 3rd Lord Abergavenny, (b. 1469, d. 13th June 1535/36), Knight of the Garter, Warden of the Cinque Ports 1513, Privy Councillor 1516, etc. Father to Elizabeth and Jane, by his first wife Joan FitzAlan. Elizabeth married Henry Daubeney 1st Earl of Bridgwater (before 16th July 1517). Henry’s mother was also Elizabeth Daubeney, but it seems more likely considering the script on the front and back pastedowns that Elizabeth Neville is writing both her married and unmarried names.

    The name Dorothy Leuenthorp occurs in Beineke MS 323, whether she is connected to Elizabeth Leuenthorp remains to be discovered.

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